We all want to do so much everyday that 24 hours isn’t just enough right? If only, there was a genie to make our tasks easier and quicker – I wish! But when it comes to taking photos for your blog or Instagram I have 20 hacks for you that can make the job a lot easier and quicker. So without much ado, let’s jump right into the post, ‘cuz its a long one! Also, I have a little something for you at the end which you may be interested in!
1. Understand exposure
Master the exposure triangle. Understand how aperture, shutter speed and ISO work together to determine the light in your photo. Click here to read more about the exposure triangle.
2. Use a White Foam board as background
You know those super pretty, clean, white photos that you see on Instagram and Pinterest. You don’t need a studio to take such photos, you can do it in the comfort of your home. Just get a white foam board from your local craft store for $2 and use it as a background for your photos.
3. Use a Prop box
Store all your props in a box so its easy to access everything quickly. This will save you a lot of time, because each time you need to shoot photos, everything you need is at an arm’s reach and you don’t have to fetch different things from different rooms in the house. If you are looking for prop ideas for your photography, click to read about my 8 prop ideas for blog photography.
4. Invest in the right equipment
Photography equipment can be really expensive, specially the lenses and other accessories can add up very quickly. So before investing in it, make sure to do a thorough research online so you can save yourself a ton of money as well as time and headache. Here is my complete guide to photography tools for blogging.
5. Make the best use of natural light
Although you can get awesome artificial lighting for affordable prices, I’d say use natural light as much as you can. The freshness and the natural hues that it adds to the photo is incomparable and is hard to imitate using artificial lighting.
6. Schedule a photo shoot based on the weather
That said, getting natural lighting can be tricky, especially if you live in places and seasons with limited hours of sunshine. So look at the weather app beforehand and schedule your photoshoot accordingly so you can make use of natural day light in your photos.
7. Understand your camera in and out
Whatever camera you may be using, from an iPhone to a DSLR, its important to learn its in and outs to make the best use of it. Explore the settings, controls, modes and everything the camera has to offer before you start clicking away.
8. Style your photos
Styling is one of the best ways to exercise your creativity and make your photos unique and stand out. Take a few minutes to arrange your subject, props and backgrounds in a way that enhances the photo and conveys the emotion to the viewer. Here are 5 photo styling tips for your blog and Instagram.
9. Use a reflector for dull, gloomy days
On dull, gray days when the weather isn’t really on your side, its a great idea to use a reflector to reflect the incoming light back on to the photo to make it brighter.
10. Use a diffuser for sunny days
That said, sunny days aren’t very easy either. If you have direct sunlight on your set up, it will result in very strong and harsh shadows which you definitely don’t want in your photos. Using a diffusor in the path of the sunlight will diffuse the sunlight and light up your scene with a soft beam of light.
11. Don’t use flash
Seriously forget the flash, it hurts. Period.
12. Use camera tethering
Did you know you can tether your camera to your laptop and view the photos you click in real time on your computer? Its hard to accurately assess the quality of the photo on the small LCD screen of the camera! By tethering the camera to the laptop, you can check your photos on the big screen right away without having to wait until the editing phase. This helps you instantly adjust the composition, lighting, etc., on the go thereby saving you a lot of time.
13. Create a mobile photography set-up
Here, I don’t mean mobile as in your phone. I mean mobile as in movable. Create a photography set-up that you can easily move around. While shooting, you might want to try a few different positions to decide which one is the best for lighting. For eg., I decide whether I want to shoot near the window in my living room or outside in the patio depending on the amount of light I need. If I decide to move, I can easily shift from one place to another with a mobile set-up as opposed to a fixed set-up. A light-weight ikea coffee table or this DIY table top are ideal for a movable photography setup.
14. Take multiple shots
Shoot the same scene from different angles and focus points. This gives you a variety of photos to choose the best from later while editing.
15. Include negative space
Its a great idea to incorporate negative space in your photos to emphasize the subject. Also it helps to keep the photo clean, clear and easy on the eye.
16. Edit your photos
I understand editing is an extra step which means a little more of your time. But editing can take an otherwise ordinary photo to something very eye-catchy and attractive. Whether you use Photoshop or any other editing tool, spend a few minutes to touch up your photos!
17. Master Photoshop keyboard shortcuts:
If Photoshop is your go-to editing tool , you can save a ton of your time by using keyboard shortcuts to perform a few actions that you do frequently. Here is a FREE cheatsheet with 25 keyboard shortcuts that you can download, print and us. Click below to download!
18. Use Photoshop Actions
Save yourself some time and use Photoshop actions to edit your photos. Photoshop actions are a recorded sequence of steps that can be applied to photographs with just a click of a button to produce various effects, filters and styles. For example, you can use a Photoshop action to create a vintage effect for your photos, or apply a pastel color filter to your Instagram photos or even resize your blog photos with just a click!
19. Practice, practice, practice
My biggest and probably most important tip is to practice and learn. Just playing around with the settings and observing the effects on the photos is the best way to figure things out. It may seem intimidating at first, but I assure you – everything will get easier with time and practice!
20. Use Creative Convex
If all else fails and you are pressed for time, I have created a photography resource just for you! Download FREE photo packs from Creative Convex that you can use for your blog and business! Wohoo!
Ah, that was quite the list of photography tips! Want more? I’d love to have you join me on #Ellechat hosted by Lauren from Elle & Company on this Thursday, 21st Jan at 8 pm EST. We’re going to be talking about tools for capturing and editing photos, the exposure triangle and the basics of DSLR photography. Click here to register for the webinar!